The chair of the Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Group at Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, Debora Fajer-Smith has nearly 30 years of experience in representing people injured in auto or workplace accidents, and those suffering occupational injury or death. Debora is a passionate advocate for her clients’ rights and takes pride in being able to put severely injured people back on the path to independence, whether through obtaining a lump sum, medical treatment or lining up vocational training for a new job. Debora’s experience, creativity and skill have made her both a formidable courtroom opponent and an excellent negotiator who has obtained favorable settlements and awards for thousands of clients over three decades of practicing law.
Debora is the only woman plaintiff attorney in Maryland with national recognition, named to the American Bar Association College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. She has served on the Senate-House Oversight Committee on Workers’ Compensation and Insurance for many years.
She has traveled as citizen-ambassador to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Debora is fluent in conversational French and in Portuguese, her native language. She believes in giving back to a community she serves. For this, the Daily Record named her to the Top 100 Women of the Year in Maryland for 2007. One of her roles is an appointed position as president of the Maryland Sister States Board under the office of the Secretary of State.
Debora founded her own law firm in 1988, where she served as managing principal for 21 years, until joining Joseph, Greenwald & Laake. She was asked to be one of the authors of The Road to Independence, produced by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.
Debora believes whether she’s in Maryland practicing law or in Rio de Janeiro working with a school for disadvantaged children, “it’s all about lifting the lives of others so they can prosper.”
In her spare time, Debora obtained her private pilot license and has owned and piloted two Piper Warriors.
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Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education,
University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1984
University of Maryland, B.A., 1981
District of Columbia, 1985
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. Supreme Court
- Prince George's Bar Association, Workers Compensation Section, chair
- Senate-House Joint Oversight Committee for Workers Compensation and Insurance Benefits, Maryland State Legislature
- Maryland State Bar Association, Judicial Nominating Committee for Prince George’s County
Speeches & Articles
- Co-editor, The Maryland Automobile Accident Desk Book, 2nd ed.
- Co-author, The Road to Independence, American Bar Association, Commission on Women in the Profession
Awards & Honors
- Top 100 Women in Maryland , Daily Record, 2014
- Leadership in the Law, Daily Record, 2014
- Secretary of State Maryland s Ambassador Award
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2015 , National Trial Lawyers
- UMBC Alumni Award, 2016 Steering Committee
- Local Litigation Star, Benchmark, The definitive guide to America’s leading litigation lawyers, Legal Media Group, 2013, 2014
- Top 150 Plaintiff Lawyers, Benchmark, Legal Media Group, 2013
- Corporate International Legal Awards Winner, Personal Injury Lawyer, Maryland, USA, 2013
- Strategic Partner, Collective Empowerment Group, Prince George’s County, 2012
- ABA College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, 2011
- Rotarian of the Year, Crofton, Maryland, 2010
- Top 100 Women in Maryland History, The Daily Record Newspaper, 2007
- Chairperson of the Year, Governor's Sub Cabinet of International Affairs, Office of the Secretary of State, Maryland, 2005